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Monday, November 11, 2013

Murder Has Consequences by Giacomo Giammatteo (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Murder Has Consequences by Author Giacomo Giammatteo!

Author Guest Post

Plot Holes and Plot Devices

Anyone who has read my blog for a while probably knows I don’t like plot holes. It ticks me off when I’m rolling along with a story, flipping pages (virtual pages) as fast as my fingers allow, and then…I fall into a plot hole. What I do next depends on how deep that hole is. If it’s a small one I move on, and, assuming I don’t encounter one in every chapter, I keep moving on. But if it’s a massive plot hole I usually put the book down. Or in this case, close the application I’m reading with. I realize I’m picky. My wife has been telling me that for many years. But I read for pleasure, and I don’t get pleasure out of falling into plot holes.

What Is A Plot Hole?

Here’s a definition of a plot hole from Wikipedia.

Plothole: ⁃ a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story's plot, or constitutes a blatant omission of relevant information regarding the plot. These include such things as unlikely behavior or actions of characters, illogical or impossible events, events happening for no apparent reason, or statements/events that contradict earlier events in the storyline.

Some of the worst plot holes come at either the beginning or end of the story. A classic example, from one of the best movies of all time, is in Citizen Kane. The entire movie centers around Kane’s last word, “Rosebud,” and yet, Kane died by himself. Alone. No one could have known what he said.

Another one is from Independence Day, the science fiction movie where we destroyed the aliens with a computer virus. The problem with that is we couldn’t have known the alien technology to be able to create the virus. Even in our simple world, a virus from a PC doesn’t translate to a MAC, so how could we expect to make a virus that would infect a technology so superior to ours, from another world?

Books and movies are full of plot holes. If it’s a movie, I sometimes watch to see if I can find the holes.

What Is A Plot Device?

Here’s a definition of a plot device: ⁃ A plot device is a character, or a thing, that affects the plot, moves it forward, serves as a decoy or a red herring, etc.

Unfortunately sometimes a reader sees a plot device and thinks it’s a plot hole, a mistake, an author error. These instances can appear to be similar, but they couldn’t be further apart.

I’ll give you an example from one of my books. I have a situation where there is a clue that gets overlooked by the lead detective on the case. His maid even mentions that he might want to check out that angle to the case, but there doesn’t seem to be anything of substance to it. Later on it turns out to be a valid clue and his partner gets hurt, an incident that might have been prevented if he’d found the killer earlier.

One reviewer thought this was a plot hole, but it wasn’t. In this scenario, I obviously knew what was going on. The maid was used as a plot device, and for good reasons. I wanted to show that the detective makes mistakes, like everyone else, and I wanted to give him a reason to be ticked off at himself in the next book for letting his partner get hurt. That one mistake will be used to build his character and create future conflict. 

If the detective had missed the clue and the maid had not brought it up, then it could have been viewed as a plot hole that the author was too lazy to go back and fix. If the author had left it alone and solved the crime another way, it would have been a huge plot hole, but the way it was presented it was a plot device.

The holes mentioned in the movies I cited could have been fixed easily. In Citizen Kane, he could have written the word “Rosebud” instead of uttering it on his deathbed. It would have also worked if he had someone with him when he died. Either one would have solved the problem and we would still have the mystery of what he meant by Rosebud. In the movie, Independence Day, if they had explained how they could develop a sophisticated virus to infect an alien computer technology, that would have worked.

Bottom Line

There are thousands of books and movies with huge gaping plot holes and just as many great ones with clever plot devices. I’d love to hear from you about some of your favorites.

About The Author

Giacomo Giammatteo lives in Texas, where he and his wife run an animal sanctuary and take care of 41 loving rescues. By day, he works as a headhunter in the medical device industry, and at night, he writes.


Book Review

Murder Has Consequences by Giacomo Giammatteo
Book 2: Friendship & Honor Series
Publisher: Inferno Publishing Company
Publication Date: February 20, 2013
Format: Paperback - 383 pages / Kindle - 667 KB / Nook - 613 KB
ISBN: 0985030267
Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Thriller
Note: Excessive strong language, Graphic violence, Explicit sexual scenes

BUY THE BOOK: Murder Has Consequences

BUY THE SERIES: Friendship & Honor Series
Book 1: Murder Takes Time
Book 2: Murder Has Consequences

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

For a select few people, friendship lasts forever. Nicky Fusco and Frankie Donovan were friends like that, but that was years ago. Now Frankie’s a detective in Brooklyn’s Homicide department, and Nicky is a reformed hit man. But when Frankie gets in trouble—and the law can’t help him—he turns to Nicky.

The problem is that Nicky promised his family, and God, that he’d go straight.

Book Excerpt:

Murder Has Consequences
Friendship & Honor, Book II
By Giacomo Giammatteo

“Oaths are something you swear to when you’re young, and wish you hadn’t when you get old.”  ~Nicky Fusco


Wilmington, Delaware

Actions have consequences. I learned that long ago.
  • I learned it when I was five years old and got caught stealing cigarettes.
  • I learned it when Mikey “The Face” Fagullo beat our asses for not giving him a cut of the smokes we stole from a boxcar.
  • I learned it when Father Tom caught us playing cards instead of attending mass.
  • Mostly I learned it when I shot Freddy Campisi. That lesson cost me ten years in prison.
Different actions yield different consequences. Do something wrong—get sent to prison. That’s one kind of consequence. But that’s the easy one. If you go to prison, you do your time and get out. It’s over. Done with.

But there is another, far worse, consequence—the one you have to live with day in and day out. The kind of consequence you beat yourself up over. The kind that won’t go away. I did my time for killing Freddy Campisi. The other things I’ve done I have to live with. Those are between me and God. They are my cross on earth.

Nicky Fusco

Chapter <$n>


Wilmington, Delaware

I looked out my window toward Front Street, then lifted my head until I caught sight of the steeple of St. Elizabeth’s Church. On a good day, when my window was open, I could hear the bells ringing. All I heard today was traffic. I picked up the phone and dialed Angie; she’d be expecting me for dinner. Adapting to my new life had been tough. I had traded excitement and danger for the routine of a family and a steady job. All in all a good trade, but at times I still itched to do something. Angie answered on the fifth ring. I always counted because I hung up if no one answered after ring five.


Angie had the best voice in the world. Strong and forceful, but…gentle too.

“Hey, babe, I’ve got to check a job tonight, so I’ll be a little late. You and Rosa eat without me.”

“I’ll wait for you,” she said. “Rosa’s eating with a friend.”

“Okay, if you don’t mind. I’ll see you later.”

I grabbed my briefcase, a thin black leather one Angie gave me for my birthday, put the blueprints inside and headed for the door. “Sheila, tell Joe I’m going to check that new site.”

“Which one?”

“The new condos.”

“Okay, see you tomorrow.”

I hated lying to Sheila. Hated lying to Angie even more, but this was something that had to be done. I checked my watch as I started the car—4:45. That should give me plenty of time to get there before Marty Ferris left work. He was Rosa’s scum-sucking ex-stepfather who needed to be taught a lesson. This meant I’d have to get up early to check those condos before work tomorrow, but that would be all right. I liked seeing the site, making sure there were no surprises. It wasn’t just the bricks and mortar I needed to calculate, but also how much scaffolding and how many planks and braces we’d need. All of that mattered.

I was thinking about how lucky I was to have this job when I suddenly realized Union Street was coming up. I put on the blinker, turned left, and headed south, pulling into a parking spot just north of Sixth Street by my favorite water-ice stand. After checking the time again, I got out and grabbed a drink then got back in the car. Marty Ferris would be out soon. He was going to pay for what he did to Rosa. It had been more than six months now, and I had abided by all the rules my old hit-man mentor, Johnny Muck, had taught me. No matter what I had promised Angie, it was time for Marty to learn a lesson. 


Marty Ferris came out of the bathroom, washed his hands twice, dried them, and tossed the paper towels into the bin. It was almost time to quit, and not much made him happier than that. Another day hacking at slabs of meat with a cleaver had earned him enough for his weekly bills and a few beers at Teddy’s. Not nearly what he deserved for putting up with all the assholes who came in demanding special cuts, or trimming of fat, but it was the best he could do considering the economy. At times he felt like taking one of the knives and cutting some fat off a few of the customers, especially Mrs. Mariano. What a pain in the ass she was. That woman was never satisfied. She came into the shop every Thursday, walking as if she had a t-bone stuck up her ass.

‘Don’t forget to cut off all the fat, Marty. All of it.’

Her nagging voice grated on his nerves, staying with him long after she left. Stupid bitch should realize it was the fat that made the meat taste good, but he’d never tell her that.

Marty finished wrapping a few chops for the customer he was waiting on, and cleaned his knives as he waited for the day to end. The clock chimed—it was five-thirty, the first thing since lunch that put a smile on Marty’s face. He untied his apron and headed for the back room. “Time for me to go, Sal. See you tomorrow.”

“See you, Marty.”

After scrubbing his hands he exited the building, got in his car and headed south on Union Street. He wanted to go home and shower, but he hadn’t had a beer since Tuesday night, and he was itching for one. He thought about stopping at the bar, but then remembered it was Thursday, his day for subs at Casapulla’s.


I sat in the car a block north of where Marty worked, still sipping on my water ice to cool off. There wasn’t much better than water ice on a hot day. As I thought that, I marveled at the genius of combining sugar, ice, and lemon into a drink that is damn near addictive, tasted good, and actually quenched your thirst. Water ice was one of the things I had missed most when I lived in New York, and missed even more in prison. I hadn’t been all over the country yet, but so far I hadn’t found anyplace that had water ice like Wilmington. For such a little city it had a lot of special things, particularly when it came to food.

Someone I didn’t recognize was walking north on Union Street. I could tell he knew me by the way he stared, leaning down a little to get a better look at who sat behind the wheel. His face was familiar, but I couldn’t put a name to it for the life of me. Frankie was always the best at that. I don’t think there was anyone Frankie forgot once he met them. Even ten years later he could instantly spit out a name. I always wanted to be able to do that, but never could. I sighed as the guy headed toward me. There was no way I was coming up with his name in time.

The guy stooped over, leaned toward the car and smiled. “Hey, Nicky. Good to see you again.”

I reached my hand out and shook his, then started to fake a forgotten-name moment, but I ended up doing what I always did when faced with this situation. “I know I should remember your name, but I don’t.”

The guy laughed, probably to cover up the embarrassment that he was forgotten. If only people knew it wasn’t them, just a common thing.

“It’s Howard. Remember, ninth grade, Sister Louise?”

I thought a second, then shook my head. “I don’t, Howard. I’m sorry. I barely remember Sister Louise.”

He smiled, laughed some more. “That’s okay. Good to see you anyway. Take care.”

“Yeah, take care, Howard.”

As he walked up the street, I repeated the name in my head, hoping to remember it in case we ran into each other again. Within a few seconds I started looking for Marty again, focusing on the cars going south on Union Street. A minute later I saw his car, letting it pass before pulling out and falling in a few blocks behind him. We went past Front Street, past the park, past the street where he lived and over the bridge into Elsemere. As soon as he headed over the bridge I knew where he was going; on Thursdays Marty usually treated himself to a cheesesteak at Casapulla’s. Most people thought Philly had the best cheesesteaks, but little old Wilmington, Delaware, made the best subs and steaks, bar none, and Casapulla’s was king. Had been for more than fifty years.

Originally I’d planned on torturing Marty, but something inside of me wouldn’t let me do that, so while I waited in the car, I decided I’d just have a talk with him. If that didn’t work, I’d shoot him to get it over with. I had planned on doing it before he got his food, but despite how much I hated the guy, I couldn’t justify killing him on an empty stomach. Everyone deserved a good last meal.

Rather than risk being seen, I turned around, deciding to wait for him by his house. I went back across the bridge and was lured in by a McDonald’s sign boasting the billions they’d sold. It flashed at me on the left, so I turned into the parking lot and waited. Marty lived in Canby Park, just across the street, and from here I could see him coming. If he kept to his routine, he’d go home to shower then go out for a few beers. Perfect. I’d wait for him to leave the bar and take him then.

After half an hour, I began to worry. It shouldn’t have taken him that long to get a sandwich, not even if they were busy. I waited ten more minutes then started the car and drove to Casapulla’s. Marty’s car wasn’t there.

Shit. How did I miss him? I turned and drove back past Marty’s house. Not there, either. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be. I never thought stuff like that, so perhaps it was an omen. Angie had been after me with constant reminders not to do anything illegal, and while I promised her I wouldn’t, this was one thing I’d promised myself long before that so it didn’t count.

Maybe she was right, though. Even guys like Marty deserved a second consideration. I pulled to the curb, put the car in park, and took a quarter from the change slot under the radio.


I flipped the coin, a toss to determine Marty’s fate.


I nodded. All right, Marty lives. I popped the car in gear and headed home, a good feeling in my gut. Sister Mary Thomas would be proud. As I drove home I wondered what I would have done if the coin had landed on tails.

It took less than five minutes to get home. Angie and I had moved into a single-family home on Beech Street. It was only a few blocks from where we grew up, but the houses were nicer and still within the St. Elizabeth’s school district. It also put me a few blocks closer to where the guys hung out and played cards. Doggs was still around, and still running games, and Patsy the Whale and Charlie Knuckles were there too. Mikey the Face was serving time, and Pockets had gotten killed in an armed robbery. Some of the others had just moved on.

I parked the car, threw the bag in the trunk, and headed up the sidewalk to the house, then climbed the steps to the stoop two at a time. When I reached the top, I pushed open the front door. Angie stood in the center of the room, hugging Rosa. They were crying.

I nearly ran to them. “What happened? Are you all right?”

“It’s Marty,” Angie said. “Rosa met him for subs and they got into an argument. He hit her.”

My body tensed. Fists clenched. That fuckin’ prick is gonna pay.

Rosa broke away from her mother and grabbed me, hugging. “Dad, don’t do anything. I’m okay. Nothing’s wrong. Don’t hurt him, okay?”

I held her close. Patted her back. All I could think of was what Mamma Rosa used to say to me when things got bad. “Non ti preoccupare, Rosa.”

“English!” she hollered. “Speak English.”

“All I said was don’t worry.” Inside though, things churned. Thoughts of what I’d do to Marty when I got him, and how much I’d make him suffer. I thought of nails and screws and hammers and acid…

Then I felt her pinch me. “Dad. Dad, are you listening?”

I looked down at her and rubbed the back of her head. “What?”

“Did you hear me when I said don’t hurt him? I meant it.”

Her eyes were red from crying and her cheeks were tear-stained, but her face was that of an angel. How could I refuse. “All right, Rosa. But I swear…”

“Don’t worry. It will never happen again. I’m through with seeing him for good.”

I pulled her to me. Hugged her. You’re right, Rosa. It will never happen again.

My Book Review:

In the second book of the Friendship & Honor Series, Murder Has Consequences, the riveting story about childhood friends, mobster Nicky Fusco and Brooklyn Homocide Detective Frankie Donovan, continues where it left off in Murder Takes Time. Author Giacomo Giammatteo once again weaves a fast-paced and gritty no-holds barred murder mystery thriller that captivates the reader's attention as Nicky and Frankie are reunited under the bonds of friendship and honor.

Frankie is on the hunt for a brutal serial killer in Brooklyn with his new partner. But when his brother-in-law is killed in Wilmington, Delaware, Frankie becomes the prime suspect in his brother-in-law's murder, so he turns to Nicky for help in finding the person who is trying to frame him.

Nicky has turned over a new leaf, the reformed hit man has promised his wife, family and God that he would lead a straight life. But when Frankie asks for his help, Nicky is torn between keeping his promise to his family and helping his best friend ... for the bonds of friendship and honor are strong ... but are they unbreakable?

Just like in Murder Takes Time, Murder Has Consequences is the continuation of a thrilling multidimensional story of love, family, friendship, honor, loyalty and murder. It has intriguing layers cleverly interwoven together with non-stop action, drama, tension, suspense, and unexpected twists and turns, that keeps the reader riveted to their seat and turning the pages. You can't help but get drawn into Nicky and Frankie's complex story as their bond of friendship is tested with dark and realistic consequences.

The story has a cast of characters who are realistic and complex; with explicit dialogues and interactions. The storyline flows smoothly and engages the reader with its richly vivid and very graphic details and descriptions of ruthless murder scenes, crime investigations, acts of friendship and costly revenge and justice.

Murder Has Consequences is a chilling and suspenseful crime novel that takes the reader on one hell of a thrilling roller coaster ride. The Friends & Honor Series is a must read, you won't be disappointed.


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  1. sounds like fun, Simran. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Kathleen, thanks so much for sharing this with your readers. And for the wonderful review. I was thrilled when people liked Murder Takes Time, but I think I'm even more thrilled that they have bought into the second book, and the theme for the series.

    1. Hi Giacomo! I enjoy reading your series, can't wait for the next installment. Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. :)